This is an extremely large set of solid gold menuki made by the tenth mainline master of the Goto school. They measure 2.46 inches or 6.26 cm by .45 inches or 1.15 cm. As stated they are of solid gold. They depict Hotei being pulled in his bag by his minions. They are pulling and pushing with great effort. One of them even has a large branch that he is trying to use as a lever. Quite amusing. They are in exquisite condition.
Goto Renjo was born on November 2, 1628 and he died on December 23, 1708. He was the fourth son of Goto Sokujo and the nephew of Goto Teijo. His father died when he was five years old. When his father died his uncle, Goto Teijo, who was the ninth mainline Goto master became his guardian. Renjo succeeded to the title of master in 1645, thus becoming the tenth master of the mainline Goto family. In 1656 he moved the mainline Goto family to Edo at the request of Tokugawa Ietsuna, the fourth Tokugawa Shogun. After his only son died, the third son of Goto Senjo (Renjo’s nephew), Goto Tsujo, became his heir. Renjo did not get along well with Goto Tsujo and he refused to teach him many of the traditional Goto school secrets. For that reason, Goto Renjo is thought of as the last link between the original Kyoto Goto mainline school and the later Edo Goto school which did not keep to the classic style of the family art.
These menuki come with Tokubetsu Hozon papers from the NBTHK attesting to their quality and attesting to the attribution to Goto Renjo. They come in a custom made fitted wooden box. Please believe me when I say that photos do not do these menuki justice. They are truly works of art.